Many procedures can be done under local anesthesia technically easily but because of the duration or the extent of the surgery general anesthesia is often chosen for dentoalveolar procedures. The downside of general anesthesia is that this is a much more radical technique with considerable side effects. An alternative is the sedation where medication is administered through a catheter and you do not consciously experience the surgery .
When a short-acting sedation is used, sleep-inducing and analgesic drug is administered which is diluted in the blood. Prior to surgery , a catheter is placed into a vein of the forearm through which the medication is injected so that you become drowsy.
During the operation, the amount of oxygen in the blood and the heart rate are continuously measured by a sensor on the finger. Through your nose you get some extra oxygen. Also the level of consciousness and breathing are monitored.
If the surgery is done, you will be monitored for a while in a separate room. If the doctor has seen you approximately one hour after the procedure, you may go home with your accompanying person.
The information listed above is the opinion of the doctors of the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, AZ Sint Jan Bruges, Belgium and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the specialty as a whole.